First Nauvoo Defections - 1841
The Warsaw Signal – May 19, 1841
understand that great dissatisfaction exists at Nauvoo, amongst those who have
lately arrived from England. It is said that many have determined to leave-and
that letters have been sent to England, warning their friends, who had designed
to emigrate, of the sad state of things in the City of the Church. Mr. Rigdon,
on the contrary, informed us last week, that, in general, the new comers were
well satisfied. Be it as it may, it is certain that some have left both the City
and the Church -- not believing, on the one hand, in the mission of the Prophet,
and on the other, dissatisfied with the temporal government which is exercised
But this is no concern of ours. While on the subject, however, we will notice an accusation which has been made against us -- that of having, for political effect, flattered the Mormons. This is not true. -- We have occasionally noticed their doings, but not with any such design. We believe they have the same rights as other religious bodies possess, and ought to be protected in the just and proper exercise of those rights. We do not believe in persecution for opinion's sake. But whenever they as a people, step beyond the proper sphere of a religious denomination, and become a political body, as many of our citizens are beginning to apprehend will be the case -- then this press stands pledged to take a stand against them. On religious questions it is and shall remain neutral -- but it is bound to oppose the concentration of political power in a religious body, or in the hands of a few individuals.
We say, then, that while ever the inordinate power which the Prophet and the leaders of the Church possess over their people, is confined within its legitimate boundaries, we are content; but when it comes to be exercised or attempted beyond this, we will be ready to take as decided a stand as any one in opposing them.
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